Authors: Ruth Fullwood, Forensic Centre, University of Central Lancashire, UK; Philip Birch, Centre for Law & Justice, Australia.



Research examining male victims of rape is often dated and is largely a neglected area of study. The current paper presents a contemporary empirical study which aims to address this shortfall in the literature and consider how gender identity, sexuality and age may influence an individual’s empathy towards a male rape victim. A total of 169 participants filled out an online questionnaire including a 60-item empathy quotient and 4 scenarios depicting a male rape victim who was either heterosexual, homosexual or transgender. One scenario was presented where the victim’s sexuality was not disclosed. Although preliminary t-tests were significant, all multiple regression results were not significant. It can therefore be concluded that gender identity, sexuality and/or age were significantly related to empathy shown towards a victim. Each variable, however, does not predict each other variable. Future implications, in terms of research and practice, are considered.

Key words: Rape; Sexuality; Male; Gender identity; LGBTQI; Victimisation.

Vol 1, Issue 1, April 2020